Make Unhealthy Healthy Again

Eating junk food can be easy if you want something quick to grab on the go. Instead, we have come up with ways to make your favourite unhealthy foods good for you.

 

‘Junk food’ is a term used to define meals that are low in nutrients (protein, minerals, vitamins, water, lipids, carbohydrates). They are also high in kilo-joules, added sugars, preservatives and fats. When you consume too much of these foods it can start to impact your body in a negative way.

Impacts of junk food:

  • Can lead to heart disease

  • May cause cancer

  • Increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

  • Causes fat gain

This doesn't mean you shouldn't eat junk food ever again, but reducing how much you consume will definitely benefit your body.

Here is a great way that you can can eat your favourite junk foods minus the complications that come with it.

1. Replace the fats and added sugars with protein and natural sugars allows you to turn your unhealthy meal into a healthy one, whilst maintaining the delicious flavours you desire.

Re-vamp the humble hamburger:

An example of changing an unhealthy meal into a healthy one is a hamburger.

Normal burgers have around 2.5 grams of unhealthy fats in them which is well above the healthy range. Burgers are often unhealthy because of the fatty meat, sugar filled tomato sauce and simple white bread buns.

If you use lean ground beef instead of regular ground beef you are already reducing the amount of fat you are consuming!

Regular ground beef contains 30% fat whereas lean ground beef only contains 17% fat. Using normal cheese is okay because it is a good source of protein and calcium, just ensure to stay away from the really orange cheese that is full of preservatives, 

Adding vegetables to your burger is also a great option as vegetables are low in fat and calories, as well as filled with nutrients. The best vegetables to use are spinach, carrot, kale, tomatoes and beetroot as they will taste the best in your burger.

Spinach is filled with antioxidants that can reduce the risk of chronic disease and other factors such as high blood pressure. Carrots are high in beta-carotene which the body can convert into vitamin A. They also help reduce the risk of lung and prostate cancer. Kale is high in vitamin A, C and K while also being rich is antioxidants. Tomatoes have been linked to health benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, they also are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Beetroot is low in calories and have a good source of nutrients such as fibre, folate and vitamin C, they also contain nitrates and pigments that can help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance.

Also using whole wheat buns instead of white buns will make your burger much healthier for you. White bread contains excess calories and not a lot of nutrients compared to whole wheat bread which helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.

Healthy beef burger recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 350g Lean ground beef

  • 1 grated carrot

  • Chopped spinach

  • Cheese

  • Kale leaves

  • Tomatoes

  • Beetroot

  • 6 Whole wheat buns

  • Mustard (optional)

Cooking method:

1. Combine lean ground beef, grated carrot and chopped spinach together until well mixed.

2. Form into 6 patties.

3. Grill or barbecue, using moderate heat, for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

4. Split and toast whole wheat buns. Spread top half of each bun with mustard.

5. Assemble burgers by placing a kale leaf on one half of each hamburger bun, adding a burger patty, sliced tomatoes and beetroot.

6. Top with remaining half of bun. Serve.